By Will Friedwald
Will Friedwald’s illuminating, opinionated essays—provocative, humorous, and personal—on the lives and careers of greater than 300 singers anatomize the paintings of an important jazz and well known performers of the 20th century. From giants like Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, and Judy Garland to lesser-known artists like Jeri Southern and Joe Mooney, they've got created a physique of labor that maintains to thrill and encourage. this is the main vast biographical and significant survey of those singers ever written, in addition to a necessary advisor to the good American Songbook and those that formed how it has been sung.
The song crosses from jazz to pop and again back, from the songs of Irving Berlin and W. C. convenient via Stephen Sondheim and past, bringing jointly ordinary jazz and pa singers (Billie vacation, Perry Como); hybrid artists who moved between genres and mixed them (Peggy Lee, Mel Tormé); the prime women and men of Broadway and Hollywood (Ethel Merman, Al Jolson); yesterday’s vaudeville and radio stars (Sophie Tucker, Eddie Cantor); and today’s cabaret artists and hit-makers (Diana Krall, Michael Bublé). Friedwald has additionally written prolonged items at the so much consultant artists of 5 major genres that lie open air the songbook: Bessie Smith (blues), Mahalia Jackson (gospel), Hank Williams (country and western), Elvis Presley (rock ’n’ roll), and Bob Dylan (folk-rock).
Friedwald reconsiders the non-public tales successes and screw ups of these kind of artists, their songs, and their performances, appraising either the singers and their tune via balancing his critiques with these of fellow musicians, listeners, and critics.
This magisterial reference book—ten years within the making—will satisfaction and tell someone with a keenness for the long-lasting song of the United States, which maintains to resonate all through our pop culture.
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